Understanding the fine art of t shirt screen printing

Screen printing is an age old process for printing designs onto various types of materials and is arguably the most versatile printing method.  These methods were first noticed as far back as 960-1279 AD in China.  During the 1700s other civilisations such as Western Europe and other parts of Asia started adopting and modifying these techniques until the 1900s where the technology and process evolved to the point where it became a very standard worldwide practice that almost every business takes advantage of in one way or another.

The modern day & common custom screen printing process consists firstly of a screen that’s made of mesh stretched over a frame.  There is a pre-press process that occurs before the mesh forms a stencil type design that will allow the ink to be correctly placed on the t-shirt, clothing or material that’s being screen printed on.  

Once the pre-press process is complete there will be enough holes in the correct parts of the mesh to form the design and the ink is poured into the frame whilst the operator uses a squeegee block to push the ink through the remaining holes of the mesh.   The process is often repeated a few times depending on the amount of colours & screens needed per item, the material type itself and also the final look the operator is going for.  

There are a large range of different types of inks and endless colours to choose from, choosing the right type of ink can vary depending on the garment or item that’s being screen printed on and the desired look that the operator is going for.

Due to the hands on nature of custom screen printing on clothing, it’s definitely considered an artform.  These days there are machines that can do the laboursome tasks, however, even by using machines the operator must have a creative eye for screen printing and flavour.

Australian Merch Co has looked high and low for the most talented screen printing operators that we could find and you’ll see with every garment the time and care that goes into each and every piece that is double & triple checked for quality.

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(Minimum order quantity of 25)

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